Palau Church Records

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For information about records for non-Christian religions in Palau, go to the Religious Records page.

Online Resources and Websites[edit | edit source]

  • Palau, Church records, 1921-1940, Digital images of originals housed at the Richard Flores Taitano, University of Guam, Micronesia Area Research Center, Mangilao, Guam.

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

According to 2015 estimates 45.3% of the population is Roman Catholic (due to its shared colonial heritage with the Philippines), 6.9% Seventh-day Adventist, 34.9% other Protestant.

The German and Japanese occupations of Palau both subsidized missionaries to follow the Spanish. Germans sent Roman Catholic and Protestant, Japanese sent Shinto and Buddhist, and Spaniards sent Roman Catholic missionaries as they controlled Palau. Three quarters of the population are Christians (mainly Roman Catholics and Protestants), while Modekngei (a combination of Christianity, traditional Palauan religion and fortune telling) and the ancient Palauan religion are commonly observed. Japanese rule brought Mahayana Buddhism and Shinto to Palau, which were the majority religions among Japanese settlers. However, following Japan's World War II defeat, the remaining Japanese largely converted to Christianity. [1]

Information Recorded in the Records[edit | edit source]

Different denominations, different time periods, and practices of different record keepers will effect how much information can be found in the records. This outline will show the types of details which might be found (best case scenario):

Baptisms[edit | edit source]

In Catholic and Anglican records, children were usually baptized a few days after birth, and therefore, the baptism record proves date of birth. Other religions, such as Baptists, baptized at other points in the member's life. Baptism registers might give:

  • baptism date
  • the infant's name
  • parents' names
  • father's occupation
  • status of legitimacy
  • occasionally, names of grandparents
  • names of witnesses or godparents, who may be relatives
  • birth date and place
  • the family's place of residence
  • death information, as an added note or signified by a cross

Marriages[edit | edit source]

Marriage registers can give:

  • the marriage date
  • the names of the bride and groom
  • indicate whether the bride and groom were single or widowed
  • their ages
  • birth dates and places for the bride and groom
  • their residences
  • their occupations
  • birthplaces of the bride and groom
  • parents' names (after 1800)
  • the names of previous spouses and their death dates
  • names of witnesses, who might be relatives.

Burials[edit | edit source]

Burial registers may give:

  • the name of the deceased
  • the date and place of death or burial
  • the deceased's age
  • place of residence
  • cause of death
  • the names of survivors, especially a widow or widower
  • deceased's birth date and place
  • parents' names, or at least the father's name



How to Find Records[edit | edit source]

Digital Copies of Church Records in the FamilySearch Catalog[edit | edit source]

Watch for digitized copies of church records to be added to the collection of the FamilySearch Library. Some records might have viewing restrictions, and can only be viewed at a Family History Center near you, and/or by members of supporting organizations. To find records:

a. Click on the records of Palau.
b. Click on Places within Palau and a list of towns will appear.
c. Click on your town if it appears, or the location which you believe was the parish which served your town or village.
d. Click on the "Church records" topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
e. Some combination of these icons will appear at the far right of the listing for the record. FHL icons.png. The magnifying glass indicates that the record is indexed. Clicking on the magnifying glass will take you to the index. Clicking on the camera will take you to an online digital copy of the records.

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

You will probably need to write to or email the national archives, the diocese, or local parish priests to find records. See Letter Writing Guide for Genealogy for help with composing letters.

Catholic Church Records[edit | edit source]

Archives and Libraries[edit | edit source]

Copies of all records listed below are found at the Micronesia Area Research Center (MARC), University of Guam. Available online: Palau, Church records, 1921-1940

Baptism, Death and Marriage Records

  • Melegeok,1923
  • Koror,1931-1932
  • MARC Palau records, Box 1

Baptism Records

  • Koror, Melegeok, Tobi, 1931-1943
  • Anguar, Pelelieu, 1935-1937
  • MARC Palau records, Box 2

Confirmation Records

  • Meleogeok 1922-1928
  • Koror 1921-1939
  • MARC Palau records, Box 4

Death Records

  • Koror 1921-1936
  • Meleogeok 1923-1927
  • MARC Palau records, Box 4
Contact:

The Richard Flores Taitano Micronesian Area Research Center
University of Guam
University Libraries
UOG Station
Mangilao, Guam 96923

Research Assistance: 735-2341

Writing to a Local Parish[edit | edit source]

Earlier records can be held at the diocese, with more recent records still kept in the local parish. To locate the mailing address or e-mail address for a diocese or local parish, consult:

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

The Catholic Church in Palau is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope in Rome. According to the last census (2000) 41.6% of the population belonged to the Catholic Church. Palau belongs to the Diocese of Caroline Islands, which is itself a suffragan to the Archdiocese of Agaña

On April 28, 1891, Spanish Capuchin missionaries arrived to start a permanent Catholic presence on the island. [2]

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Records[edit | edit source]

Online Records[edit | edit source]

Online information is available to current members, for deceased members and immediate family members who are still living. Sign in to FamilySearch and then select Family Tree in the drop-down menu.

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

There are no records of missionary activity or visits by Latter-day Saints in this 100-plus island group prior to World War II. The first known Latter-day Saints on Palau came as members of the armed forces during the war. Full-time missionary work began in July 1978. Missionary activities were initially restricted by the Palauan government to the islands of Koror, Arakabesan, Malakal, and Airai. The Palau Branch (a small congregation), later renamed the Meyungs Branch, became part of the Micronesia Guam Mission in April 1980. The Airai Branch was created in September 1987. The Meyungs Branch was divided and the Koror Topside Branch was created in December 1998. The Koror Central Branch was created in March 1989 bringing the total to four branches with 208 members. A chapel was dedicated in Meyungs in May 1990. The chapel was later torn down after the branch was dissolved to give greater strength to the Koror Topside Branch. The branch was renamed the Koror Branch in 2010, and the branch was assigned to the Barrigada Guam Stake in September 2018. Total Church Membership: 509.[3]

Seventh-day Adventist Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Palau", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palau, accessed 7 April 2020.
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Catholic Church in Palau", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church_in_Palau, accessed 7 April 2020.
  3. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, "Facts and Statistics: Palau, https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/facts-and-statistics/country/Palau, accessed 7 April 2020.